From these traditional green pages is the story of not one young pilot working his way up in hours but three. Ben and I attempted to take to the skies one morning in January of 2000, only to complete a proper run-up procedure and watch as our communication radio decided to call it quits. Two months later, in something with a little more curb appeal Justin and I took to the skies, battling fierce crosswinds of five to seven miles an hour with no radio issues mentioned.

I’ve hand-written in the previous iterations of my journal before about how much I loathe paper logbooks. I’ve kept some semblance of logbooks throughout my tenure as a Captain flying regional jets across the southwest, and recently as I’ve taken a liking to ForeFlight’s ability to better prepare me for flights these days, I have begun to digitize them. While there may be a small gap in the paper versions of these records, I distinctly having that moment flying overseas logging to-the-minute actual instrument time and specific approach information thinking “my kids are not going to care about how much actual time I have.”

And honestly, neither do it. Those restless moments the night before living a childhood dream of flying airplanes overseas into foreign lands, finding a somewhat quiet spot downtown reminiscing of the challenges that lie ahead on the morrow, mean more than how much time I was IMC. Those moments sitting in the Naritasan Temple during the Goma Ritual having a meditative moment after some brief tender moments on this earth with our daughter Nora mean more to me than the fact I flew the ILS to 34R. Hopefully they mean something to whichever of my lineage decides to be the bearer of my written journals. Hopefully there’s something more important there for my family than yet another smooth landing on the Polderbaan.

More than for my kids, these journals are for me. A few fleeting moments in an otherwise busy day away from friends and family yearning for that sweet taste of nostalgia to come to fruition, a periodic glance at what once was, and a further push for the continual improvements in what is to come. But that taste of nostalgia is so sweet, and much needed. Tonight, however, they must fight the power of New Mexico’s green chilies. They’re putting up a good fight as I write.

Ben, Justin, and I now enjoy much more robust communication equipment, flying in even more fierce crosswinds, and once in a while, our paths do cross. Tonight, however, I look back and remember where those paths started, and look forward to seeing what other paths will begin here soon.